Hello, internet procrastinators. Does it feel good to be ignoring the things you’re actually supposed to be doing? Do you feel satisified? Successful? Productive? No? Well, you should – by landing on this post you’ve reached peak level of procrastination: the level by which you do psuedo-productive things instead of the ones you’re meant to be doing, so at the end of the day you still feel accomplished.
Today, I want to ask you a question. Do you keep promises to yourself?
I want you to think about this.
Something I read years ago that stuck with me (the entire basis for this post, really) was an article wherein someone said “the most important promises are the ones you make to yourself. Those are the ones you need to keep.”. Before reading that, I’d never really considered the concept; I was one of those people who would make 100s of plans and do none of them. One of those people who would set New Year Resolutions and laugh at the idea that they’d ever happen. I started projects, only to constantly abandon them.
My point is: I definitely didn’t keep any promises to myself.
The issue the article raised was that by not keeping these promises, you’re slowly eroding your trust in yourself – that, much like a person who consistently lets you down builds up a reputation as being unreliable, you start to view yourself less and less highly.
You know what’s weird? It’s true.
If you can’t trust yourself to do something as simple as go to the gym once a week or watch less TV, how can you trust yourself to do big things like start a new job or move somewhere new?
Orelia Gold Plated Chakra Choker Necklace – ASOS – £18 (same) // Tarot Card Necklace – Etsy – £11.44 (similar) // Dress – Hope & Ivy (out of stock)
Seriously, think about it. As you go through life letting yourself down . . . your opinion starts to change. Here are a few examples I can think of in my everyday life.
- Procrastination. I used to procrastinate – a lot – and eventually I started to think of myself as lazy. As not dedicated. As someone who really was never going to do any of the things I set out to, so why try?
- Not finishing things or seeing them through. Back in the day, I was a big “idea” person. In fact, it’s one of my personality traits – I come up with loads of ideas and concepts . . . but fail on the follow through. This isn’t something I struggle with anymore (getting a job and being forced to follow through massively helped me with this, something we’ll talk about later) – but I used to kind of give up on plans before I began them. If you know you aren’t going to see an idea through, why put any effort in?
Long story short, I started to subconsciously – and consciously – think of myself as someone who wouldn’t actually do anything. And it actually (subliminally) affected my self-esteem and self-perception; it affected the opportunities that I put myself forwards for and how I viewed myself.
I was always very academic, but that annoying type of academic where I never revised – however, I had this (frankly, correct) block that would stop me from doing things because I knew that if I needed to put effort into them . . . I wouldn’t. Studying Media Studies? Fun, something relevant to me – but coursework based, and we all know I wouldn’t do that. Same goes for art. Same goes for starting running.
And so on and so forth until you realise you aren’t actually trying anything. And the things you are trying, you aren’t really believing you can do anyway.
To me, New Year’s is a really good example of this – a lot of people want to change things in their lives; they want to be more fit, have more fun, try new things. But come New Year, when motivation should be at an all time high and other people are more willing to help you, they all . . . don’t.
Everyone says “New Year resolutions are pointless; I never stick to them anyway.” Which is kind of sad – because if you can’t rely on yourself to change your life . . . well, who will?
I’ve touched on this in my Do I Regret Or Recommend Starting Work Early and 10 Things I Learnt From My First Jobs posts, but starting work massively changed my life for the better. Without consciously realising it, I started to build that trust up within myself.
I’ll be real with you guys – even just the plunge to start working was a leap of faith for me. With an apprenticeship, you can’t just quit halfway through and get a new job. If it weren’t for how far away and expensive my college was (and the fact a lot of my friends felt the same way and decided against coming back for a second year), I wouldn’t have made that jump.
But throughout my time at work, sticking to something and succeeding, I started to build trust with myself. I could stick to things and be consistent, I could chase my passions (and, y’know, actually bloody do them), I was capable of doing things.
I started viewing myself as a person I liked. A confident, organised, responsible and capable person. And it’s massively changed my personal life for the better.
I only started working two years ago – in fact, it’s two years exactly this September.
And now I’m moving to Australia. With two strangers. Which would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
But here’s the thing: I’m fine; I’m happy – I’m confident that even if we all end up hating each other, I will be able to do it alone. Even if I end up wanting to come home, that’ll be fine and I’ll figure out some way to have an awesome time back home in London.
At first, I thought I trusted “the universe”. Fate. But what I’ve come to realise is that I trust myself. I trust myself to be capable, to be hard-working, to be okay.
The most important currency you can have is trust in yourself. It’s a combination of faith, self-belief and discipline. You need to know that you have your own back; that you’re capable and that if you say you’re going to do something, you’re going to damn well do it. You need to understand that you have the power – and the ability – to change your life.
So how does this effect you? I want you to start keeping your promises. I want you to start to rebuild that trust within yourselves. Start small; start by promising yourselves little things like “I’m going to get up 10 minutes earlier” and actually follow through. “I’m going to eat breakfast.” “I’m going to do a Youtube exercise video at least once a week”. And then when it comes to betting on yourself big . . . you might be more willing to give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
Before we wrap this post up, photo credits for these go to Alix! She’s a small Youtuber who is building her portfolio and, while she is, she’s taking photos of bloggers for free. If you live near London/South England, make sure you take a look at her Twitter and send her a message!
Okay, my beauties, I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever thought about the concept of building trust within yourself? Do you keep promises to yourself? Have I convinced you to start? Let me know your thoughts down below!